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Baltimore Orioles decide to move fences back at Camden Yards


Baltimore Orioles decide to move fences back at Camden Yards

Illustration: Shutterstock

Camden Yards is an iconic ballpark. So iconic in fact that since its inception in 1992, barely any changes have been made to it. Well, something not so minor is coming to the Orioles’ home field in 2022, as the left field wall is not only going to be raised from 7 feet to 12 feet, but also pushed back up to 30 feet in some areas.

Since 2006, the Orioles’ home ballpark has allowed more home runs than average every year except for 2016 (when it was exactly league average in that category) and the COVID-shortened 2020 season. Since 1992, no ballpark has seen more balls leave the yard than Camden, and that left-field fence has been a big reason for all the home runs. At its closest, the left-field wall sits just 333 feet away from home plate. That’s actually about average across all MLB ballparks. However, the parks’ 364-foot distance to left-center is the second-closest of any MLB ballpark, ahead of only Wrigley Field (363). Camden Yards is also one of just eight ballparks with a wall lower than eight feet in left. A 12-foot wall would be tied for the sixth-tallest wall in Major League Baseball. What’s interesting is, in this era, when the longball is king, you’ll regularly find teams moving walls in or lowering them. Moving them out? Not so much. Cleveland moved the walls out at old Municipal Stadium back in 1991 but returned to the old dimensions a year later. And the Cardinals discussed moving the walls back at Busch Stadium III in September, but so far have not.

To put in perspective just how hitter-friendly this ballpark has been, after left-hander John Means threw the team’s first no-hitter since 1991 in 2021, Means said he was glad the game happened in Seattle and not Baltimore. If the game had happened in Baltimore, it’s likely that Kyle Lewis’ eighth-inning fly ball, which was caught at the left-field wall in Seattle would’ve been a home run.

“If this was Camden Yards, it was gone,” said Means after the game.

This man just threw the team’s first no-hitter in 30 years and one of his main post-no-n0 thoughts was “I’m glad we weren’t at home.” If…

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